Local News

Wendell woman shot by ex-husband claims DSS was negligent

Posted April 6, 2016

— This week marks two years since a Wendell woman’s estranged husband killed her parents and tried to kill her.

LaTonya Taylor remembers the night of April 9, 2014 as if it were yesterday. She hid her three children in a closet before being shot twice by her ex-husband Nathan Holden.

“It seems like it gets harder and harder,” she said. “[My children] heard the beatings. I was pistol whipped. They could hear it, the sounds of the beatings, of the gun and just me begging.”

Taylor, who survived after being in a coma for a week, is now suing the Division of Social Services of Wake County and several of its case workers for negligence, which caused her children to suffer severe emotional distress. The lawsuit details the abuse Taylor said Holden inflicted and what DSS knew about the cycle of abuse.

In December 2013, the couple’s son reported to his school counselor that he smoked marijuana with his father. In January 2014, Taylor reported to the Wake County Sheriff’s Office that Holden threatened to kill her and the children. That same month, the lawsuit shows Taylor took out a protective order against Holden, who filed for custody of the children a week later.

The lawsuit indicates a DSS case worker who conducted several home visits during that time advised Taylor that she should consider letting her son stay with Holden if he signed a safety plan. Four months later, Taylor was fighting for her life and her parents were dead.

“Her not being here is hard. I can’t pick up the phone and say ‘mom, this is what we’re doing. This is what the kids are doing and just hear her voice’,” Taylor said. “And my dad, he was just so strong. He just loved his grandkids and I just miss talking to them.”

DSS said the department cannot comment on an ongoing case.

Holden's trial is set for July.

Taylor and her children all remain in counseling and said they are doing as well as can be expected. Taylor has a new job and is engaged.


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  • Matt Nickeson Apr 8, 2016
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    I don't disagree but what does any of that have to do with this case? Are you aware of additional information about this case that was not presented in the article?

  • Kim Anderson Apr 7, 2016
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    Despite the comments that have already been posted on this story . It's a FACT that Wake County Human Service, DSS, CPS are all full of it. This woman had every right to file a suit because they are very negligent liars! They kidnap children in Wake County run the family thru the Family court system, and the Judge allows them to lie in court and place children in more harm than they were already in. CPS caseworkers have no training and many of them are moved around from different departments. One day a worker can me a food stamp worker and the next week they can be a CPS investigator in charge of deciding to remove a child away from a loving home. It's sad because you have a newly hired director who was supposed to come in and fix the already broken system but instead she has been working to help cover up fraud. You have a division director who was promoted after the last one took "secret retirement". She does not do no more of a better job than the last person. KARMA!

  • Donald Holder Apr 7, 2016
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    Maybe her siblings should sue HER for not doing enough to protect their parents.

  • Margaret Hicks Apr 7, 2016
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    I am very sorry for your lost, but suing DSS and the caseworkers is crazy and just prolonging the pain and hurt you feel. You knew the situation better than anyone. Should you be sued for not protecting your children. I don't think so. again I am sorry for your loss.

  • Matt Nickeson Apr 7, 2016
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    It is a horrible situation but I fail to see what DSS had to do with it....I generally despise DSS btw. It sounds more like a combination of poor decisions and bad luck.